The Denim Project
I looked back at my knitted sample and decided that I wanted to experiment further with knitting as it created a soft organic texture. Using the skills I had learnt in the lanyard project, I decided to experiment with French knitting using strips of denim in addition to wool. I then embellished this sample with beads, buttons and artificial bushes (usually used for architectural models) which I thought represented the vast variety of different types, colours and shapes of mould.
I realised that the various forms/ colours of mould and fungus correlated with the various types of denim so I wanted to make use of all different types of denim in my other final sample. I thought an effective way to do this would be to weave. I decided to buy mesh and use this as a template for my weaving. Using the shapes of the mould I had identified previously, I weaved these shapes in a green colour. This is to draw attention to the natural inspiration behind the piece. I really like the outcome of this sample and believe it is my favourite so far, however, to improve it, I could embellish the green areas with beads and buttons similar to my other sample.
The Denim Project
To further my experimentation with plasticine, I began to think about other ways I could create a similar effect using different media. I decided to try painting on denim, the colours and patchy style mimicking that of the plasticine. I wanted to reflect the texture of the mould/ fungus in the photos I had taken by manipulating the denim. Due to this, I decided to sew in loops and then pull the thread to 'scrunch' the fabric up and create circular raised bumps. Although this process was quite long, I really likes the effect, especially when I had painted on the denim fabric.
The Denim Project
To continue exploring creating organic shapes with denim I looked back at my previous samples. I was particularly drawn to my knitted sample and the loose ends I left. I wanted to replicate the effect of these loose ends using denim. I began to pull strands out of the denim to get rid of the structure that holds the strands together and create something more free flowing. I created two samples with this, one with the strands stuck onto black denim and another combining the strands with plasticine (inspired by my previous samples.
The Denim Project
I was surprised that I had never noticed the variety of shapes, lines and patterns that trees can form and I became inspired by this so I responded to my images of trees using collage and drawing on various materials. I particularly liked the way oil pastel looked on velvet and denim - it appeared very natural and subtle and represented the photos I had taken well.
I then remembered how I had used plasticine in the lanyard project and I wondered how it would look if I were to mix the colours up more and whether it could look like mould. I did this and placed it onto denim pieces. I like the effect that this had and definitely reflects my research, however, the material would not be practical for a final piece as it is fragile, I would like to find another way of representing organic natural forms onto denim.
The Denim Project
I firstly decided to experiment with knitting as I had never done this before. To make this sample illustrate my photograph of mould I left loose strands, embellished the knitting with green wool and cotton end experimented with looping wool around each other and tying this onto the sample. I could further this experimentation by knitting with denim strands.
I also responded to the shapes, liens and patterns I noticed within the growths such as circular and teardrop shapes.
During my photoshoot in the park I was particularly drawn to the pattern on a particular tree, creating an almost winding or net like structure. I decided to desert and respond to this image to understand it better by drawing in both coloured oil pastels and pencil and then experimenting with how I could create my own net structure using wool and denim. I wanted to take this structured approach to recording nature further so I created a denim sample exposing the structure of denim, with the overall shape of this sample representing the trees in the forest.
The Denim Project
After responding to secondary source research, I decided to go and collect some primary source research. I went to Richmond Park to take photos of any moulds, growths, fungus/ mushrooms or any other natural forms that I was particularly drawn to. I believe this photoshoot was very successful and would Like to make the most of these photos, responding to each one with drawing and textile samples.
The Denim Project
Once I had decided that I wanted to focus on natural and organic forms, through research, I had become intrigued by mould. The shapes and colours that are created were quite beautiful despite being something that is often considered as ugly and something you should avoid.
In class we were asked to research into the colour blue on a double page spread. I wanted to find a way of showing the colour blue but also the organic and delicate nature of mould that I want to further explore. To do this I put ink onto thin plastic and then put this onto the page upside-down, allowing the ink to spread onto the page. I also rubbed the plastic in various ways to create an effect that is effectively mono printing. I also included some colours that were not blue to see whether this inconsistency would be something that I would like to bring forward - this also references to the images of mould I had researched in that often bright or unexpected colours could occur.
The Denim Project
I started off this project by researching generally into denim - its qualities, the most common ways its used and manipulated and responding to these in the form of drawing as well as responding to this research by making samples.
After this, I knew that I needed to choose a more specific theme for this project. To do this I looked at the initial samples I had made. I found that I was more drawn to the organic shapes I had created by manipulating the denim. I thought the contrast between the stiff and structured nature of denim and these more curved, natural lines I had created was visually interesting and something that I would like to further explore.
I researched into aboriginal culture and how they wear their clothes. I noticed that intricate neck pieces were prevalent so I decided to base my design around this. However, my outcome would not be limited to this - I would like to experiment placing the design onto different areas of the body.
Furthering my experimentation around how I would attach aspects of the environment such as twigs and leaves together, I used my weaving loom to place wire into in a pattern which would be a visually interesting base for my outcome. I decided to use weaving for my piece due to the success of my previous weaving experimentations. I then proceeded to weave twigs and small leaves through the wire. After this I continued weaving but using wool in my colour scheme or red, orange and yellow which represent the Australian desert.
I left tassels hanging from the bottom of the piece inspired by the hanging ropes prevalent in aboriginal clothing. The ID card would be placed in the wire amongst the tassels so that it is only partly visible. This is because I didn't want the ID card to take attention away from the piece, yet if one was asked to show their ID card they would easily be able to. People see lanyards as something negative so I wanted to create an exciting piece which can be added to any outfit where ones personality and interest in culture can be shown rather than purely a name and a number. Going back to the idea of creating lanyards for different moods for different days, if I were to develop this project further, I would create a series of versions of this lanyard which represent different moods and environments so that the lanyard on chooses to pick each day can truly be representative.
I started to realise that my final outcome is not something that most people would choose to wear on an everyday basis as their lanyard. However I think that the concept of incorporating culture into your everyday outfits is something that people would desire. With more time I would take this project in two directions - one to simplify and down size the design into something that looks more like a traditional lanyard and the other to use the shapes and techniques I have used as inspiration for fashion items to really push my designs and ideas into something that is striking and draws attention to the cultural ideas behind the pieces.
In addition to this weaved outcome, I used various other samples from this project and began to experiment with how these could fit onto the body. I pinned these samples onto a mannequin in a variety of different areas, orders and positions. Doing this definitely helped me see how these samples could progress into a fashion piece.
Researching into aboriginal art inspired me to start experimenting with the dotted pattern commonly seen within this art. I started this experimentation using plasticine using to colours from the Australian desert landscape/ colours associated with aboriginal art (orange, red, brown, black and white) creating a pattern of decorative circles. I then wanted to further this experimentation so decided to start thinking about different materials and techniques. I researched various techniques and decided to use French knitting using wool in my chosen colour scheme and create a spiral with the long knitted chain. I really like the outcome of this and will definitely remember this techniques for future projects.
I wanted to create more intricate textile samples to what I had created previously so I further explored the plastic compartment idea, sewing into these samples and pulling the thread tighter to create a wave like texture which reminds me of the patterns found in the Australian desert sand. I really like these samples and will definately consider including them into my final piece.
I researched into aboriginal clothing to think more about the overall shape of the lanyard rather than just the texture and pattern, looking at where on the body they place their clothing.
I really liked the idea of incorporating real aspects on of the environment into the lanyard so I experimented using twigs and leaves and the different ways these could be connected and attached to create a textiles item.
Linking the idea of using real plants into the lanyard and the idea of containing items in transparent plastic, I decided to dry some flowers (if I had access to native Australian flowers I would have experimented with these) and place them in between strips of relatively flexible plastic. I then sewed this together using a sewing machine to create a belt with a compartment for an ID card. I am pleased with the simplicity and delicacy of this outcome. I decided to do this in order to see how I could create something that looks modern and wearable for the general public rather than something extravagant that would most likely not be worn by most people on an average professional work day which is where most lanyards are worn.
Adding a contrasting colour can often make a textile piece more exciting so I explored different Australian environments that contrast with the desert, in particular, the sea. I also considered adding another concept to my development. Expanding from the idea of gaining inspiration from surrounding environments such as the landscapes of ones country, I wanted to focus in on immediate surroundings. I took the contrasting colour of blue and cut out sections from some blue flooring which I have in my home and created a pattern with these. Additionally, I created small floral decorations using my previous colour scheme and placing them onto the blue pattern. I explored different ways of connecting these blue shapes in various ways. I think these samples were successful however I think that I would like to create something less delicate to represent the harsh Australian environment for the final piece.
I realised that I had not yet experimented with pattern and wanted to make use of the techniques from the print making day. I proceeded to create a mood board of photographs of the Australian desert landscape and identify and record shapes from that environment into my sketchbook. Then, choosing 3 shapes that I thought worked well together, created a pattern. I repeated this three times and really like the outcomes and can see them as a print. I then created rough samples using these patterns as inspiration using more traditional materials. Using one of the samples I made consisting of layers of orange, yellow and brown fabric I decided to see how this sample could be used to carry a lanyard as well as having an additional practical purpose. I created a pocket on the sample to contain the ID card and then went on to add a back to the sample. I think this piece could work well as a bum bag, purse or attached to an item of clothing to act as a pocket. If I were to redo this piece I would have sewn on each layer of fabric using a sewing machine to give it a more finished look, however I think it is successful in portraying an idea for a final piece. I thought about who would use this piece. I think that using this piece as a bum bag would work well as I can see it being placed into a festival environment.
I decided to start experimenting around the colour schemes and shapes present in the 'mood diary' using a variety of materials. I decided that an interesting way to begin combining these materials was to use weaving. I continued to experiment with weaving, creating abstract and visually interesting pieces. I started to become overwhelmed with the vast variety of directions i could take this concept so I decided to focus in on one of the colour schemes (red, yellow and black) which remind me of power and confidence. I went on to create textile samples based of this.
However, after completing these I began to realise that I needed another aspect to the concept of my pieces - something else that I can draw inspiration from. Therefore I started thinking about what these colours reminded me of. As this project is about identity I went back to my culture project research to find inspiration. This culture research inspired me to look into the Australian landscape as I used to live there. It was at this point that I began to experiment using the desert landscape as inspiration for patterns and textures.
Christmas - Lanyard Project
When hearing the project brief I was initially quite intimidated, how can such a mundane and simple object be created into something exciting. This sparked my curiosity about why people wear lanyards and why it is generally portrayed as something that is worn reluctantly. After having conversations with people from multiple organisations in which lanyards are required such as from a sixth form collage, UAL and workplaces I discovered that it is because a lanyard is meant to represent ones identity yet identity is far less simplistic than a name, organisation and profile picture.
This prompted me into researching how I could create a lanyard that was a more realistic representation of the person wearing it.
In my spare time I often create 'mood diaries', in other works a visual diary of how I feel in that moment or day by using representative colours and shapes to create abstracted pieces. I created some of these to use as my starting point. People may be keen to wear a lanyard that demonstrates their mood or desired mood for that particular day as how they feel is ultimately a large part of their ever-changing identity. I could create multiple lanyards each inspired by a different mood.
Monday 3rd December
I found today very useful. We got to listen to and see the work of past foundation students studying a BA at UAL or Kingston. I was really impressed with their work and it has given me ideas for my own work, especially in terms of portfolio layout. I noticed that many of the 2nd or 3rd year students had a personal style which I was quite intimidated by however I felt reassured when told that there is no pressure to have an already developed personal style at this stage in foundation. I also felt reassured that the students portfolios for BA mostly consisted of foundation work from christmas onwards as I feel that my work has improved and developed a lot since that start of foundation.
From the presentation on portfolio page layout, I feel that I understand how to create a balanced, clear and aesthetically pleasing page (for example, do not make the page too busy, don't be afraid of white space and to make the page either bottom or left heavy). I have now Identified pages in my sketchbook which I think could work well together to create portfolio pages.
Neighbourhood - Thursday 29th November
Today we were given the option to self direct our morning. I decided to work on my weaved sample, adding experimental materials in blue, yellow and white. In the afternoon we had a crit. I found it very useful to see other peoples work. I was very inspired by it and found myself being filled with many ideas inspired by my peers. Even though I am mostly considering studying textiles next year, I think it would be useful for me to create some fashion illustrations to see how my samples and research can be used to create shapes on the body.
Neighbourhood - Tuesday 27th November
This morning we were asked to create at least five samples using both the neighbourhood and colour research. I decided to focus mostly on geometric shapes to refer to the man made built environment of London as well as including materials such as wood to represent the natural environment and the contrast between these. I also included to colour blue due to my colour research and the pastel coloured houses I found in Notting Hill. I found myself working quickly, creating 12 relatively simple samples that combine my chosen areas of research. I am happy with these samples however for my final samples I plan to incorporate warm yellow tones into them as I think this would be successful from the evidence of my past research.
Our next task was to combine out samples and record them in our sketchbooks. Including the textures. I really like the outcomes of these drawings and this task has given me a new perspective on how I can use my existing simple samples to create more intricate combined samples.
Our homework task to create a 'menu of shapes' was really useful to me. I decided to use this menu to create combinations by pairing up images from different categories. I also decided to experiment using photoshop by layering multiple images on top of each other. I think these edits will be very useful when creating my final samples.
Neighbourhood - Monday 26th November
I collected objects (both plastics and traditional materials) in the colour blue. As I was unfortunately still ill, I tried to complete research into this colour and materials at home. Firstly, I made a sculpture out of various blue plastics such as bin bags, carrier bags, plant pots, food packaging and zip lock bags. I then went on to create multiple sculptures by rearranging these materials. This process created a range of interesting silhouettes that could work on the body.
I then noticed that some of the plastics had interesting shapes cut into them. I experimented with this by placing these objects over the light source allowing the light to projects onto a wall installation I made also using blue plastics. I believe this created an interesting effect and could be useful in creating a pattern.
I then created another sculpture by combining traditional blue materials such as wool, denim and cotton by stuffing them inside two plastic cups. I also created a textile sample using a bin bag and scrunching and tying areas together, I really like the effect of this so decided to combine this sample with the sculpture to create an unusual form.
Neighbourhood - Thursday 22nd November
Unfortunately I was ill today so couldn't make it in. However, I knew a weave workshop was taking place so I did my best to experiment with this at home. So far I have mostly been working with cold colours so I decided that I would experiment with complementary hot colours and perhaps combine them afterwards to add interest to the samples. I looked back through my research and decided to use aboriginal artwork which focus on earthy browns, oranges and reds (this was part of my research into Australian cultural history as I was brought up in Sydney and often learnt and visited aboriginal galleries). I am happy with the outcome and has confirmed my decision to use contrasting warm colours in future samples. I then decided to create another weave, this time in a circular shape (as I noticed that circles and spirals were common in aboriginal art). This time I decided to use blue, yellow and white as the main colours. The outcome of this sample I believe is less successful than my previous weave as It looks quite old fashioned which wasn't the look I was going for. Nevertheless, this sample has definitely helped me in terms of broadening my weaving techniques and has made me more confident to experiment with weaving using a wider variety of materials and scales.
Neighbourhood - Tuesday 20th November
Today we experimented with lino-printing. I had done lino-printing before but never in such an experimental and fast paced way. I enjoy working quickly and often find that the best results can occur from instinctive or impulsive decisions. Today has made me realise the importance of having the message behind your work really clear in your mind so that all of your quick decisions have some kind of structure and meaning behind them. I was no so happy with the outcome of my print as I think the colour red was too powerful and the shape I chose represents the shape of the gates in notting hill however by just looking at the print without knowing this, it would not come to mind. Although I didn't mind the print itself, I found that the meaning behind it was lost and I should have spent an extra few minutes really considering the reason for each shape and colour. Also the printer cut off the edge of my print so the pages did not fit together perfectly.
I decided to recreate my print at home, starting from scratch. Something that I had not explored yet from my research that interests me is the area that I live. In particular, the contrast between the man made and natural. I live in Richmond, South West London where I believe this idea is very present. When in the large and wild Richmond Park It is often hard to believe that it is only 20 minutes or so from Central London. I identified and drew out shapes from both the built up city environment as well as from images from the park in my research to start off.
For pattern I chose repeated rectangles representing bricks from the built environment, for shape I used the curved shape of the river and for texture I used wood dipped in ink as a stamp. I think this outcome is a lot more delicate and aesthetically pleasing than my previous attempt.
Neighbourhood - Monday 19 November
We began today by observing the culture and area research of the class. I was intrigued by the diversity of presentation techniques and layouts, I would Like to further experiment with different ways of collaging. For example integrating simple samples inspired by the colours and shapes of the other collage materials to ensure I am constantly aware of the possibilities of how I could use the research.
In the morning, we made collages based on our area research. I was given Notting Hill. Since I have lived in or near west London for eight years, I have visited Notting Hill various times and am constantly fascinated by the diverse variety of urban landscapes present in such a small area. You have the big white mansions for the millionaires, the rainbow coloured streets, the bustling and bohemian portobello road as well as the more run down and deprived areas. I was surprised to find a street of 20 shops all of which were bordered up and out of business. This area is almost a summed up version of the whole of London. I also visited Grenfell Tower, the atmosphere there was unsettling and sad. It was strange to see people getting on with their daily lives in a place with such a disturbing recent past.
I had so many different ideas about how I could take this project but quickly became overwhelmed by the amount of possibilities. Despite wanting to explore all aspects of this area I decided to narrow my focus to only one aspect of the area. I decided to create a set of samples looking at the wealthy side of Notting Hill. I used mostly white, cream and beige tones as well as blues, greens or yellows (a reference to the coloured houses often associated with the area).
I created 16 samples inspired by this. My samples are relatively simple however at this stage of the project I think having more samples that are simple will be more useful than having few complex samples as I can use them to inspire more ideas for my final sample collection.